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                                                       Calendar No. 620
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     109-340
======================================================================
 
    NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2006

                                _______
                                

               September 20, 2006.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 3617]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 3617) to reauthorize the North American 
Wetlands Conservation Act, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) 
(Public Law 101-233), enacted December 13, 1989, provided 
funding and administrative direction for implementation of the 
North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Tripartite 
Agreement on wetlands between Canada, the United States and 
Mexico. The Act converted the Pittman-Robertson account into a 
trust fund, with the interest available without appropriation 
through the year 2006 to carry out the programs authorized by 
the Act, along with an authorization for an annual 
appropriation of $15 million plus an amount equal to the fines 
and forfeitures collected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
    Available funds may be expended, upon approval of the 
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, for payment of not to 
exceed 50 percent of the United States share of the cost of 
wetlands conservation projects in Canada, Mexico, or the United 
States (or 100 percent of the cost of projects on Federal 
lands). At least 50 percent and no more than 70 percent of the 
funds received are to go to projects in Canada and Mexico each 
year.
    NAWCA also created a North American Wetlands Conservation 
Council to recommend projects to be funded under the Act to the 
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The Council is composed 
of the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 
Secretary of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a State 
fish and game agency director from each Flyway, and three 
representatives of different non-profit organizations 
participating in projects under the Plan or the Act. The 
Chairman of the Council and one other member serve ex officio 
on the Commission for consideration of the Council's 
recommendations. The Commission must justify in writing to the 
Council and, annually, to Congress, any decisions not to accept 
Council recommendations.
    NAWCA's matching grants are awarded to organizations and 
individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out 
wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, 
and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory 
birds and other wildlife.
    There is a Standard and a Small Grants Program. Both are 
competitive grants programs and require that grant requests be 
matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1-to-1 
ratio. Funds from other U.S. Federal sources may contribute 
towards a project, but are not eligible as matching funds.
    The Standard Grants Program supports projects in Canada, 
the United States, and Mexico that involve long-term 
protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and 
associated uplands habitats. In Mexico, partners may also 
conduct projects involving technical training, environmental 
education and outreach, organizational infrastructure 
development, and sustainable-use studies.
    The Small Grants Program operates only in the United 
States; it supports the same type of projects and adheres to 
the same selection criteria and administrative guidelines as 
the U.S. Standard Grants Program. However, project activities 
are usually smaller in scope and involve fewer project dollars. 
Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and funding priority is 
given to grantees or partners new to the Act's Grants Program.
    Public Law 103-375, enacted on October 19, 1994, 
reauthorized the law through fiscal year 1998 and increased the 
authorization for appropriations to $20 million per year for 
1995 and 1996 and $30 million per year through 1998. The 
amendment also acknowledged the role of Mexico in plan 
preparation and project selection and implementation and 
recognized that projects carried out in Mexico could include 
cash contributions from non-U.S. sources.
    Public Law 105-312, enacted on October 30, 1998, again 
reauthorized the law and extended funding authority at the 
current level of $30 million per year through fiscal year 2003. 
Public Law 106-553, December 21, 2000, changed $30 million to 
$50 million. Public Law 107-308, December 2, 2002, the North 
American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act, increased 
the authorization for appropriations to $55 million in 2003, 
$60 million in 2004, $65 million in 2005, $70 million in 2006, 
and $75 million in 2007.
    In fiscal year 2006, Congress appropriated $39.4 million to 
fund NAWCA's Grants Program. Additional funding comes from 
fines, penalties, and forfeitures received under the Migratory 
Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and from interest accrued on the fund 
established under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act 
of 1937. Amendments to the Federal Aid in Sport Fish 
Restoration Act of 1950 directed that a portion of the moneys 
collected from Federal fuel excise taxes on small gasoline 
engines be allocated for use under the Act for coastal 
ecosystem projects. The total funding from all sources for FY 
2006 is $66.1 million. The Administration's FY 2007 
appropriation request was $41.6 million.
    From September 1990 through June 2006, more than 3,150 
partners have been involved in 1,556 Standard and Small Grants 
Programs' projects combined. More than $742 million in Act 
grants has leveraged some $1.5 billion in matching funds and 
$809.5 million in nonmatching funds to affect approximately 23 
million acres of wetlands and associated uplands across the 
continent.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    S. 3617 reauthorizes NAWCA through fiscal year 2012 at the 
FY 2007 funding level of $75 million.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title
    This section provides that this Act may be cited as the 
``North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 
2006''.
Sec. 2. Authorization of appropriations
    This amends section 7(c)(5) of the North American Wetlands 
Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4406(c)(5)) by striking ``fiscal 
year 2007'' and inserting ``each of fiscal years 2007 through 
2012''.

                          Legislative History

    On June 29, 2006, Senator Inhofe introduced S. 2041, which 
was cosponsored by Senators Jeffords, Chafee, Lincoln, Crapo, 
Nelson of Nebraska, Cornyn, Craig, Cochran, Baucus, Stevens and 
Vitter. The bill was received, read twice and referred to the 
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The committee 
met on September 13, 2006, to consider the bill. S. 3617 was 
ordered favorably reported by voice vote.

                                Hearings

    No committee hearings were held on S. 3617.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 3617 on September 13, 2006. The bill was ordered 
favorably reported by voice vote. No rollcall votes were taken.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 3617 
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it 
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 3617 would not 
impose Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:
S. 3617, North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 
        2006, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
        Environment and Public Works on September 13, 2006
Summary
    S. 3617 would authorize the appropriation of $75 million a 
year for programs carried out under the North American Wetlands 
Conservation Act (NAWCA) through fiscal year 2012. Under 
existing law, the authority for such appropriations will expire 
at the end of fiscal year 2007. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) uses amounts appropriated under NAWCA primarily 
for grants to State, local, and tribal governments, nonprofit 
organizations, and other entities that carry out wetlands 
conservation projects.
    CBO estimates that appropriation of the amounts authorized 
by S. 3617 would result in outlays of $175 million over the 
2008-2011 period. (An additional $200 million would be spent 
after 2011, including $75 million that would be authorized for 
2012.) Enacting this legislation would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    S. 3617 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments.
Estimated Cost to the Federal Government
    The estimated budgetary impact of S. 3617 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment). For 
this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 3617 will be enacted during 
fiscal year 2007 and that the entire $75 million authorized 
will be appropriated for each fiscal year beginning in 2008. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
this program.


                                     By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   2006    2007    2008    2009    2010    2011
------------------------------------------------------------------ ----------
                SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
NAWCA Spending Under Current Law................................
    Budget Authority/Authorization Level\1\.....................      40      75       0       0       0       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      35      39      37      30      19      11
Proposed Changes................................................
    Authorization Level.........................................       0       0      75      75      75      75
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       0       0      20      40      50      65
NAWCA Spending Under S. 3617....................................
    Budget Authority/Authorization Level........................      40      75      75      75      75      75
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      35      39      57      70      69      77
------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
\1\The 2006 level is the amount appropriated for that year under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
  The 2007 level is the amount authorized under current law for that year.

Intergovernmental and Private-Sector Impact
    S. 3617 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined UMRA. Enacting this legislation would 
benefit State, local, and tribal governments because they 
receive a portion of the funds authorized.
Previous CBO Estimate
    On August 8, 2006, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
5539, the North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization 
Act of 2006, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Resources on July 19, 2006. H.R. 5539 and S. 3617 are very 
similar, and the estimated costs of the two pieces of 
legislation are identical.
    Estimate Prepared By: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie Miller; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate Approved By: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill 
as reported are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in [black brackets], new matter is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman:

NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

     * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 7. AMOUNTS AVAILABLE TO CARRY OUT THIS ACT.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--In addition to the 
amounts made available under subsections (a) and (b) of this 
section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Department of the Interior for purposes of allocation under 
section 8 of this Act not to exceed--
            (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

            (5) $75,000,000 for [fiscal year 2007] each of 
        fiscal years 2007 through 2012.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *